Learn About Your Money

You don’t have to feel guilty that you don’t understand your taxes. This book will teach you in plain English, with visuals and examples, what you need to know to have a successful filing season 2022.

By the end of the book, you’ll discover:

  • You don’t need to pay a lot of money to file your taxes
  • You are more than capable of understanding your tax returns
  • Taxes can be explained jargon-free
  • Most taxpayers have challenges with taxes

See note below on pricing.
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Understand Your Tax Form 1040

About The Book

About 52% of taxpayers paid someone else to prepare their taxes. Even if you decide to hire someone to help you file your taxes, you should have a basic understanding of your tax Form 1040. 

Average taxpayers have minimal tax understanding. According to NerdWallet, 46% to 58% of individuals don’t understand basic tax concepts.  This book is trying to change that, one taxpayer at a time. We are starting with the basic understanding of our tax Form 1040. In the next book, Boost Your Tax IQ (coming), I will cover most topics for an average filer in more detail.

Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes, especially tax mistakes, can be costly. Minor negligence can lead to a full-blown audit. The best preventive measure you can take is to avoid tax mistakes in the first place. 

This book will help you understand Form 1040, which is used to file individual federal income tax returns with the IRS. In addition, it provides you with information on how your refund or tax due is calculated and a big picture view of your taxes.

Most Americans hate (26%) or dislike (30%) doing their income taxes. One way to change that is to improve your understanding of your tax situation.

As shown in Table below, most taxpayers have to file Form 1040 if they work and have a gross income above a certain amount. That is called the filing requirement. It is based on three factors: gross income, filing status, and age.

Filing Status

Age at the end of 2021

Gross income over

Single (S)

under 65


> 65

+ $1,700


under 65 (both spouses)


> 65

+ $1,350 per spouse


any age



under 65


> 65

+ $1,700


under 65


> 65

+ $1,350

However, there are additional reasons why a taxpayer may need to file a tax return, even if their income is below the threshold amount. For example, if you are self-employed and your net earnings are above $400, you must file a tax return. Similarly, taxpayers who receive subsidies toward their marketplace health coverage also have to file taxes each year. 

Below is a list of reasons why you may need to file taxes even if your gross income is below the filing requirement threshold:

  • You have a net self-employment income of $400 or more.
  • You owe ATM tax.
  • You had an additional tax on a retirement plan such as IRA.
  • You owe SS and Medicare tax for household employees and need to file Schedule H.
  • You owe SS and Medicare tax on tips you didn’t report to your employer.
  • You have received HSA or Archer MSA distributions.
  • You had wages over $108.28 from church or another qualified organization.
  • You have received advanced premium tax credit (APTC) payments for health care coverage through the Marketplace. Include Form 1095-A with your filing.
  • You earned foreign wages or paid foreign taxes.

Additionally, even if you don’t have to file for any of the reasons listed above, you should so that you can get a refund of any federal income tax withheld or to receive refundable credits. 

The main reasons to file even if you don’t have to:

  • You had federal or state income tax withheld.
  • You made estimated tax payments.
  • You experienced losses on the sale of your investments that can be carried forward against future income.
  • You qualify for refundable credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Premium Tax Credit (PTC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC), part of American Opportunity Credit (AOTC), Child and Dependent Care Expenses (CDCE), and others. You can receive these credits as refunds even if your tax liability is zero and you have no filing requirement.
  • You want to start the statute of the limitation period for an IRS examination. If you never file your tax return, the IRS has no time limit to review it.
  • To prevent identity theft by someone else using your personal information.
  • You are a debtor in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.

What’s inside


What is tax Form 1040?

8 different versions, US Federal Income Tax


How to Get It?

IRS website, Library, request via phone, tax software


When to File It?

April 15 or extend until October 15


What Do You Need?

Personal info, tax documents & forms


Ways to File

Yourself, with Tax Pro, Free File


Who Should File?

Gross income threshold, filing requirement


How to Prepare 1040

Six steps to refund due or tax liability calcualtions


3 to 5 Year Comparison

Big picture view of your tax situation


Understand your tax returns with a jargon-free approach. Even if you have someone else prepare your returns, you are ultimately responsible for your taxes

This book is a must-have for taxpayers who want to understand their tax returns. After reading this book, IRS tax form 1040 won’t be intimidating for you. 

By breaking up your tax calculation into 6 steps and using examples and visuals, you will quickly learn how to be a pro at comprehending your tax returns. 

In 140 pages, form 1040 is demystified and supported with fully-sourced information. In addition, the accredited author (Enrolled Agent specializing in tax return preparation) will teach you how your refund or tax due is calculated

NOTE: This book will not do the taxes for you, but it will empower you with the skills to understand them. Remember that you are responsible for your tax returns (you sign them as a legal document), so you might as well understand what you sign.



Question Quiz

In this book, you’ll learn: 

  • Who has to file tax form 1040
  • Why you may want to file tax returns even if you are not required to
  • How to file for free
  • Where to get tax assistance
  • Why e-filing is the best option
  • What credit do you need to claim missing stimulus payments
  • What documents do you need before you start filing your taxes
  • How to obtain the 1040 form
  • Where to send your tax returns if you are paper filing
  • Which schedules and forms flow into 1040
 

Sample Pages

Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 001
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 009
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 003
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 014
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 012
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 015
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 006
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 010
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 002
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 008
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 013
Understanding of Tax Form 1040 Pages 016

Other books

Everything You Need To Know About YOUR Taxes

Boost Your Tax IQ

This book will help 99% of taxpayers with their taxes. You will learn what tax mistakes to avoid, what usually triggers audits, and what you need to know to e-file in 2022.

Boost IQ Front Cover Plain eBook 6x9 1

Taxes Made Easy

  • What is the fastest way to receive a refund
  • How much in total tax do you pay for the year
  • How long do you have to file to claim a refund
  • 12 interesting facts about the tax form 1040
  • How to run a quick 3 to a 5-year analysis of your tax situation
  • What is the difference between credit and deductions
  • Why refundable credits are most valuable benefits
Smartmockups iPadPro Understand1040 004


Need Your Help

This is a new book so please review on Amazon or another platform. Thank you so much!

Amazon Pricing

This is a self-publish booked with printing on demand, which means the price is higher to account for the higher fees in printing costs and distribution. Below are the current printing costs for different versions.

If you buy directly from my Gumroad account I keep all the proceeds. However, from 3/10/22 until 6/8/22 the book won’t be available through Gumroad because it is being distributed through Amazon KDP Select, which requires exclusivity for the period of enrollment.  

Thank you for considering & supporting self-published authors.

Book TypePricePrinting/ Delivery chargeRatePublisherAuthor Royalty
Amazon eBook$8.99$1.0070%$2.70$5.29
Amazon Paperback B&W$14.99$2.5360%$6.00$6.46
Amazon Hardcover B&W$21.99$7.1860%$8.80$6.01
Gumroad PDF Book$8.99$8.99


About the author.

AkiStepinska scaled

I have a BA in Economics and I am an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA). EA is an IRS designation received after passing a 3-part comprehensive test on individual and business returns. I have worked in international taxation and corporate transfer pricing, a very specialized area of taxation for global multinational companies. Since 2016, I have changed gears and am mainly focused on individual tax. 

I have worked at large tax preparation companies as Master Tax Advisor and Tax Expert, where I helped taxpayers prepare their tax returns, answer questions, and plan for their future. I have also volunteered with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. 

All the information that I share is honest and to the best of my knowledge. It is important to remember that each tax situation is unique. Therefore, you should consult a tax or financial advisor who knows your exact circumstances before making drastic changes.

Aki Stepinska

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